U.S. Assistance to Honduras

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 7, 2009

Question: Can the Department confirm that humanitarian assistance is exempt from cut-off to the de facto Honduran government, even if it is determined that a military coup displaced the President? How much money in development and security assistance is affected by this current pause in assistance (amount allocated minus assistance already provided)?

Answer: We are suspending, as a policy matter, assistance programs we would be legally required to terminate if the events in Honduras are found to have triggered section 7008. Section 7008, if triggered, does not restrict any assistance that is not for the government of a country. Because most humanitarian assistance is for the people of a country, rather than for a Government, it is generally not affected by the provision.

Thus, among other things, all assistance supporting the provision of food aid, HIV/AIDS and other disease prevention, child survival, and disaster assistance, as well as elections assistance to facilitate free and fair presidential elections, is still being provided to the people of Honduras.

Thursday’s announcement means we are suspending, as a policy matter, military assistance programs and a few development assistance programs that are for the Government of Honduras. The dollar amount associated with the military assistance that has been suspended, including Foreign Military Financing, International Military Education & Training, Peacekeeping Operations, and 1206 assistance, is approximately $16.5M. We are halting activities related to basic education and some environment and family planning programs, as well as support to the Government of Honduras for CAFTA-DR environmental standards. The assistance suspended by USAID thus far totals approximately $1.9 million

PRN: 2009/689 2009/689